Wigan Athletic’s new owners are pushing to keep caretaker boss Leam Richardson in charge on a full-time basis – but they have competition from Ipswich Town, per Alan Nixon.
Richardson has been in temporary charge at the DW Stadium since John Sheridan departed for Swindon Town in mid-season, and he’s been battling against the odds with a much-changed team and takeover uncertainty for months.
But the light at the end of the tunnel that appeared last month finally became a reality in the last week, with Phoenix 2021 Limited – led by new Bahraini chairman Tamal Al-Hammad and owned by Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi – completing the takeover.
The Latics’ League One future still remains uncertain – with eight games to play they sit in the relegation zone but are just two points from safety, and at this point it looks as though four teams from six in the mix will go down into the fourth tier.
In challenging times, Richardson has won seven games this season as Wigan boss and according to Nixon, there’s a ‘big push’ at the club to make him the manager on a full-time basis.
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But there is another interested party in the 41-year-old and that is Ipswich Town – managed by Paul Cook who wants to bring Richardson to Suffolk as his assistant.
Richardson has been Cook’s understudy at Accrington Stanley, Chesterfield, Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic and it looks as though Cook wants to get the band back together at Portman Road.
There may be a tough decision to make for Richardson in the coming weeks – does he want to go back to being a number two or does he want to carve out a managerial career of his own?
It may come down to who has the best contract on offer, and if Wigan’s new owners want some continuity and stability, then they should be offering Richardson a decent deal right now in order to tempt him to stay.
Considering Wigan’s squad has pretty much changed every few months this season, Richardson has done his best in a bad situation and if he’s serious about a career as a manager, then he’s probably best staying to oversee the revolution at the Latics.